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4 hours ago, rsanford said:

A clarification... Chaosoium has no current SUPPORTED product that serves as a gateway to their product. Magic World is exactly this and for the moment Chaosium still has print copies and of course the PDF files.

I don't consider MW a "gateway" product, honestly.  If anything is, that gateway is probably CoC, because of widespread exposure & YEARS of pop-culture.

Also, MW honestly suffers a bit from being "D&D, but not."  I think lots of players looking to branch out from D&D/PF/etc are looking to branch a bit further out.

 

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Since you mention Uncle Scrooge I shall say a few things, since he is one of my all time favorite comic book characters. *I don't necessarily see the RPG business as being or becoming a rich pers

Wow.  I'm sure you folks will get a LOT of interest on this topic! But since you ask... There've been a bunch of innovations in BRP since the BGB, so I'd like to see those brought aboard!  E

That is correct. We are releasing a BRP Open Game License and a BRP SRD. The SRD is a core BRP rules document that people are authorized to create derivative works from, including rules expansions, et

4 hours ago, MOB said:

Call of Cthulhu is certainly outselling D&D in Japan, and maybe in some other places, but it would be a real stretch to extend that to "across the planet". D&D is overwhelmingly the most popular tabletop RPG globally.

OK, so we have to delay your generous wholesale buyout offer to Hasbro for ... a bit.  You still got this.  I stand by my admittedly nonbusiness major recommendations.  Think and plan big. You think you are well-known because cottage industry insiders at Gencon and Origins recognize your company name?  Peanuts!  You are invisible to the general public, and so are all those wonderfully creative games you urged us to indulge in over the weekend.  You need to become as recognizable as Uno and Candy Land.  People can't shove their money into your deservedly grasping fists if they don't know you and your product exist.

The best way to truly honor Greg Stafford's memory is for you all to become filthy, disgusting .05 Percenters who can hire the most creative writers, the most talented artists, the most meticulous editors and layout people , so you can publish the best games in existence.

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

I don't feel like the BGB is something I can throw at my players (unless they're being really annoying, in which case the 1d3 damage is only what they deserve);

As one might surmise from past posts, I strongly advise that the Guide to Glorantha volumes 1and 2 for melee combat delivering a massive 2d6+2 per hit for damage (especially against zombies, remember head shots only), I would also recommend the heft of these 2 tomes as missiles as long as one had a medium sized trebuchet on hand. 

Cheers

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13 hours ago, g33k said:

To be brutally honest -- and specifically because you ask -- take a good hard look at Mythras' organization & presentation.  It's easier to grasp their content than yours.  I see this sentiment widely echoed online, too... Mythras is widely praised for how approachable and comprehensible it is.  I think it's worth looking at a bunch of online reviews, even OUTSIDE the extended BRP family of games, and look for books where there is wide reviewer/fan agreement that they are comprehensible, accessible, clear... study those books (and the elements the reviews praise) in considering a BGB2.

As an aside, I don't find Mythras's organization & Presentation particularly approachable and comprehensible. Our experience was very much the opposite.

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Yes, but a quickstart for a Gloranthan game doesn't really help a DIY type, or say someone that no longer wants to play D&D but doesn't want to toast his ongoing campaign of the last 20 years. They want something that's not too tied to something else, and enough in the way of tools to assist them in checking things out, or coming over en-masse. This is one of the reasons that Savage Worlds became popular, and to a lesser degree why GURPS and Hero are still around, among others.

This market segment is well-served by Mythras, whether by Mythras Imperative, the basic rules or by some of the more specialized spin-offs. And it is a market segment that Chaosium is currently leaving to The Design Mechanism and the rest of "the Competition" like Revolution D100 or OpenQuest.

Yes, Mythras is different from the BGB BRP. But it isn't that different.

The BGB is a package of modular rules that can be added to several basic systems, like Elric!/Magic World or RuneQuest 2.

Speaking as a DIY type, the space operatic setting I keep laying aside doesn't need more rules on the character level, but less, although I am more inclined to go to the D100 way rather than HeroQuest/Questworld for my own gaming, keeping a safe distance from descendants of D&D. (Scenario creation for others is way easier for HeroQuest...)

5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

System as gateway, then hook them on the settings.

DIY folk come with a setting, looking for tools.

What hooked me to Glorantha wasn't the system, it was King of Sartar. What hooked me to RQ was the BRP mechanics and the RQ3 Vikings Box as a tool for my Viking-themed setting.

5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

And, just so that you know that I'm not really biased as to settings, it CAN be done the other way too. The Literary route. Stories that people can read to get them interested in the setting, and then perhaps to the game. Cthulhu of course has this as its based upon the stories of others, but nothing like this really exists for Glorantha. I'm sure someone will point to KoS, but I don't remember this ever being marketed outside the already existing Gloranthan community.

King of Dragon Pass and Six Ages: Ride like the Wind are pretty good alternative entryways to Glorantha. Sandy's Gods War is another possible alternative entry to Glorantha, and besides RQG there is HQG and 13G. Proselytizing Glorantha is mainly done on the individual level, and by exposing people to the glamourous visual stuff we can hold up now. And that discussion is led elsewhere.

Cthulhu as a setting isn't really my genre, and neither are conventional supers. Urban fantasy is a playground that can be done with Cthulhu, but the 1920ies focus of the Cthulhu series makes for a different kind of fantasy, Pulp. WIth Cthulhu as optional add-on.

The main war is to be fought on the US market - the various non-US markets all have their own cultures and special competitors. Outside of the US, Chaosium and its native language licensees are big players - I wonder what the numbers are for Chaosium's three fulfilment centers, in terms of percentage of the total sales of the English language editions.

Speaking of foreign language markets, the licensees face significant competition by Chaosium for the money of the fans of Chaosium's systems, and to a lesser extent vice versa. I usually only acquire the translated editions to be able to understand players used to German language editions. (And - apart from the German language website that I lost to a spam injection and inflexible customer service by my hoster, almost all my writing happens in English, too.) D&D still is strong over here, as people consume the same streaming media here that they do in the US, but local growths have their tenacious grip on the hobby, too. German Cthulhu has seen lots of original material set in Germany, and there are systems using homebrew D100 for SF, dark SF, private investigators (both Victorian and Pulp Era) and weirder things. From what I can see from French or Spanish language markets, the situation there is similar, and the Nordic countries had BRP as their local language alternative to D&D in the eighties, and their mainstream has built on those roots.

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16 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

We are making no promises, but if we were to update the BGB, what could be improved?

NOTE: The printed BGB is available for sale still on our website, and certainly in PDF form on our website and DTRPG.

Organisation.

I think Jason (as primary author of the revisions / collation of prior art that is the current BRP BGB), Charlie Krank and Lynn Willis (as the editors) did an admirable job of marshalling a large, multifaceted text in to as concise and coherent a whole as they could - but with ten years experience in the wild and perspective I think more could be done to delineate the various optional systems (which ones don't play well together, which ones do; which ones suite particular types of games etc). And absolutely there are options from CoC 7e, Pulp Cthulhu, RQ!7 and indeed Magic World# that are worthy of inclusion. But the crucial thing about such a work of synthesis is organisation. I DON'T think it needs a radical re-write.

Chaosium in their hey day were  the gold standard in RPG publishing for sparse, elegant layout; concise, direct writing and masterful precision and economy in editing and presentation. The BGB didn't quite hit those  heights, nor have subsequent publications IMO (albeit huge strides have been made in the new era in terms of presentation at least) - it would be grand to see a revised BGB that hit those heights again. I agree with G33k that an "outsider" in the editors seat would be a good thing.  No offense to the Design Mechanism or Mythras, but the place I would look for pointers in terms of organisation and layout is Monte Cook - since the Ptolus setting book, the large scale published works Cook has put out have set the standard as far as RPG books as reference works go IMO.

Cheers,

Nick Middleton

# I'm flattered someone mentioned Arete - my own feeling is I'd want to extensively re-write that to simplify and streamline it; but I think there's is much in core Magic World's character generation in particular that would be worth including in a revised BGB - the skill allocations by blocks, skill categories and cultures in particular. Put it this way - they are included in every BRP game I've run since I first encountered them.

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We appreciate you, Rick Meints and others being willing to sit down and (electronically) chew the fat with us about these things, whatever business decisions you ultimately have to make.  A lot of creative people have worked really hard to ensure your success, and as lovers of your games we want it to pay off for you.
 

Ironically, it was because I'd been a Champions player all those years that I could appreciate the Big Gold Book.  Despite the specific rules differences, it was highly anagous to Hero System 5th edition, a similar sized tome that served the same purpose.  With either cherished volume I can run almost any campaign setting without switching rules sets.  That's important because my usual players are notoriously fickle.

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18 hours ago, seneschal said:

Bastard children are still your kids and need love, too.  If Magic World can reach customers uninterested in the complexities of the RuneQuest multiverse, sell it, sell it, sell it!  POD and PDF means you don't have to maintain physical product.  Despise no potential revenue stream, especially since you have titles already written, play-tested and edited.  The work is already done; go make money off of it.  You have no guarantees of what titles will appeal to which customers, so promote all your excellent products, even the ones that may not be your personal favorites.  The money you get for them is just as green.

We have never considered any of our product lines "bastard children" so I will assume you were trying to be funny. This also isn't about playing personal favorites. Publishing a system is about making money from it. We aren't a non-profit, nor is this a side business or hobby business. We can't afford to spend $100 to make $110. Yes, Magic World reached some customers. Yes, the BGB reached customers. If you want to buy these things, please buy them. We still sell them.

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16 hours ago, seneschal said:

If Cthulhu 7th really is out-selling Dungeons & Dragons 5th across the planet, that means y'all are in the big leagues now.  Your competition is no longer little one- and two-man shops such as Goblinoid Games or Monkey House Games.  You are up against freaking Hasbro and other giant toy companies of their ilk.  Scary, but it is a good thing.  And it means you need to think, plan and market your wares differently than you may have in the past.  You can't simply maintain a pretty and functional website, post links on DriveThru RPG, and expect customers to somehow discover you online.  You must pursue potential buyers like Hounds of Tindalos chase dimensional travelers.

Getting actual copies of all your titles on game shop shelves is important.  Personal experience shows me that they typically stock the core book of whatever you released last, and that's it.  And they are slow to restock.  That means that even dedicated gamers have never seen a copy of your beloved Pendragon, for example, and probably don't realize it exists.  That's revenue you just lost from the type of folks most likely to appreciate what you do.

But at this point, game shops are small beans.  You are going after the Barnes & Noble crowd, the Toys R Us crowd, even the Walmart super center crowd.  These folks, as well as the traditional nerds like me, must know that your games exist and that they are utterly cool, and that they must be able to acquire them before Christmas, birthdays, and national emergencies.  As I said elsewhere in a different discussion, you must learn to dream bigger dreams.  People will buy YOUR product rather than Scrabble or Clue or Trivial Pursuit.  Hollywood producers will option YOUR fascinating IP for the next blockbuster franchise while Disney and DC cry in the corner.  You gotta think that way.

What does this have to do with updating the BGB?

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NOTE: This thread started as being about what could be revised for a new version of the BGB of BRP. If you want to provide us with other advice, critiques, etc. please start a different thread with an appropriate name. I'm not trying to silence anyone. I am reminding folks to stay on topic, or possibly start a new topic in the correct forum.

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If I were given the task to make a new BGB I would add CoC7 innovations, like success levels, oposed rolls based on opponent's skill, maybe ad/disad rolls. Percentage stats don't work for me as visually they get mixed with skills, and they get really large once you cross the human levels.

But most importantly, I'd give a complete functioning version of BRP as base (I think Magic World level is the ideal), and add all the optional tweaks and rules as add-ons. That way you can give a complete playable game for a newbe, and all the other BRP goodness to explore if they want. I think only hardcore BRP gamers have the patience to use the BGB toolkit as it is now. Also a clear explanation of the advantages, disadvantages and impacts of adding one rule subset or another has on the core rules would be ideal.

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2 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

What does this have to do with updating the BGB?

It has to do with me being a mouthy old fart and perhaps speaking out of turn.  Forgive me but know that I'm rootin' for ya.

But other posters have made some excellent suggestions.  Using the Basic Roleplaying Quick-Start as a solid base, we could add in your latest rules innovations and make them consistent with one another.  How much other setting and mechanical options we still need to determine, but we'd end up with a leaner, clearer book that still would be useful.

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23 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

We are making no promises, but if we were to update the BGB, what could be improved?

NOTE: The printed BGB is available for sale still on our website, and certainly in PDF form on our website and DTRPG.

1. Layout, art and presentation. Bring it in line with recent Chaosium products.

2. Make BRP basic again. Don't touch the core rules and don't add more bifurcating options in the core, just organize things so that a "basic" system is clearly visible and separated from the plug-and-play "add ons" and "spot rules".

3. Add passions from RQG. And a few other systems easy to plug-in. Things like more spells, more monsters (like those from Gateway bestiary!), etc. But don't add further options for already complex systems suchas combat. Keep the core simple.

4. Add 2-3 scenarios that showcase what can be done with BRP.  An introductory fantasy scenario using only the basic rules. A supers scenario (maybe even an update of a Superworld scenario) and a sci-fi scenario. They should take inspiration from the rich history of Chaosium and be really good.

5. Different character sheets, for genres and options.

 

 

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This...

8 minutes ago, smiorgan said:

1. Layout, art and presentation. Bring it in line with recent Chaosium products.

2. Make BRP basic again. Don't touch the core rules and don't add more bifurcating options in the core, just organize things so that a "basic" system is clearly visible and separated from the plug-and-play "add ons" and "spot rules".

3. Add passions from RQG. And a few other systems easy to plug-in. Things like more spells, more monsters (like those from Gateway bestiary!), etc. But don't add further options for already complex systems suchas combat. Keep the core simple.

4. Add 2-3 scenarios that showcase what can be done with BRP.  An introductory fantasy scenario using only the basic rules. A supers scenario (maybe even an update of a Superworld scenario) and a sci-fi scenario. They should take inspiration from the rich history of Chaosium and be really good.

5. Different character sheets, for genres and options.

 

 

And along these lines, I would suggest you use the eight characteristic stat block. I find it generally easier to remove a stat, than to add one in if necessary.

SDLeary

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1 hour ago, smiorgan said:

1. Layout, art and presentation. Bring it in line with recent Chaosium products.

I suspect they want to keep the budget leaner than this.  BGB was never a huge seller, and neither was the "generic fantasy" MW.  I don't think Chaosium wants to invest big into "if you gild it, they will come."  Dunno, maybe Chaosium has enough bought-outright artwork that they could do a really high-end layout without much capital outlay?  But that still calls for a lot more effort in layout, and for them to invest in more expensive full-color print runs... of a book that, in the end, may not sell dramatically better.

 

1 hour ago, smiorgan said:

5. Different character sheets, for genres and options.

I think this idea is brilliant.  Selecting the set of available skills in a BRP campaign is a big part of defining your setting; cultural and professional backgrounds similarly.  A bunch of character sheets seem like a great way to capture and present many different options in a minimal pagecount, and be a great resource for GM's/campaigns.

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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

As an aside, I don't find Mythras's organization & Presentation particularly approachable and comprehensible. Our experience was very much the opposite.

This -- particularly Chaosium's experiences with playtesting early RQG drafts, comparing RQ2-v-RQ6 elements -- are significant points to reference!

I dunno... maybe the production of a Glorantha game differs sufficiently (from the production of a general-purpose game) that it's an apples-to-oranges comparison (or apples-to-pears)...?  Or... I dunno, I really don't.

But I will point out that TDM seems to be doing very VERY well indeed producing top-notch settings & supplements for RQ6 & now Mythras.  Chaosium obviously has a bunch of BRP titles under their belt, but... how many successful products based directly upon the BGB (the way, e.g... TDM's Luther Arkwright is based upon RQ6)?  I'm not sure what TDM is doing differently from Chaosium, but their "general toolkit" approach seems to generate titles/sales that Chaosium's has not.  I will also point to some Chaosium/BRP "monographs" & very-small products that have moved over to TDM/Mythras and become full-blown product-lines, or at least gotten much bigger/better treatments.  Maybe TDM is taking a bigger risk on a smaller product, than Chaosium has?  Or... I dunno, again/still.

Notwithstanding my suggestions and criticisms, I realize that nuChaosium management and business practices have amply demonstrated that y'all DO know what you're doing and are VERY competent and capable at making a successful go of the RPG business.  Honest reality-check says you folks have the track record, and us internet-rando-fans have ... nothing but our whining "but I waaaant it!" 

Still, I hope we can collectively bring you some perspectives and ideas you may not have already considered (such as @smiorgan's marvelous "collection of sheets" idea!).

 

Edited by g33k
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On 10/15/2019 at 12:56 PM, Rick Meints said:

We are making no promises, but if we were to update the BGB, what could be improved?

NOTE: The printed BGB is available for sale still on our website, and certainly in PDF form on our website and DTRPG.

Honestly, I just want errata, as per below, and then a hardcover POD option.  That's it.

 

 

 

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My first choice for games that aren't fundamentally broken is to just get an errata-corrected edition out there. So, like @TheophilusCarter, I would find that most welcome!

If there is still budget available, any improvements to layout, editing & organization would be great. If there's room for some serious changes, I like the idea of presenting the system as stripped down as possible in the first few chapters. Maybe make that Part I, with the listables (monsters, spells, equipment, etc.) in Part II, and then Part III gives the options. Or make Part III the Companion.

Finally, yes, bring it up to date, adding stuff from RQG, etc.

 

Edited by GM Joe
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On 10/15/2019 at 6:56 PM, Rick Meints said:

We are making no promises, but if we were to update the BGB, what could be improved?

NOTE: The printed BGB is available for sale still on our website, and certainly in PDF form on our website and DTRPG.

Nothing apart from a clean up and bringing the style up to today's standard looks, layout and artwise.

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The BGB is one of my favorite RPG products ever. I am thankful for Chaosium keeping it in print as that makes it more relevant and accessible to my players.

For the campaigns I have run in various fantasy and historical settings, the thing that would help me the most in terms of preparation time is an extensive bestiary. With the plans for multiple Fantasy Earth settings, a bestiary that covers natural animals and mythic creatures would be useful. I know that wouldn't fit in the core book, but I think it would make for a useful separate product for all the Mythic Earth settings and for home-brew fantasy worlds.

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If one were to update the BGB, my main request would be to keep the format as black print on matte, white paper.  I find all the glossy stuff or anything with a background hard to read, esp with glare etc. But, my eyes are old.  Otherwise, I'm not sure what I would really change.  The BGB is pretty...big.  So adding stuff might be difficult. However, I could see adding Stunts and similar options form varius BRP pubs, and perhaps adding something like advantages and disadvantages.  A non BGB option might be instead to produce a Compendium of these additional rules. 

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

Still, I hope we can collectively bring you some perspectives and ideas you may not have already considered (such as @smiorgan's marvelous "collection of sheets" idea!).

 

I must agree with g33k here @Rick Meints, (have not said so before but long time fans of your work!) there might be a schmuck or two that will get in an ill deserved sucker punch, but hey ya got free brainstorming (lack of emphasis on the brain increased emphasis on the storm, unfortunately) and worth every penny. As long as the herd stays on track, (not a good track record, alas) you should have a few good comments pertaining to your question.

Now that is unfortunately all I can contribute as I have not not read the BGB and have not seen BRP since it was a small stapled handout in the box (not that that will stop everyone) so I do not feel qualified to say much.

I will say I intend to buy the BGB one day cause... grognard here. But I would love to see and buy a great new BRP set!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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4 hours ago, smiorgan said:

1. Layout, art and presentation. Bring it in line with recent Chaosium products.

2. Make BRP basic again. ....

....

5. Different character sheets, for genres and options.

An afterthought after reading the other posts...

Do I think my 5 points would improve the BGB and make it an even cooler product or products (if it is broken in a core and companion set)?  Yes, I surely do. (Great I don't disagree with myself).

Do I think the BGB "badly needs" such a treatment? No, I don't. I'm pretty fond of by BGB hardback as it is. It now sits on the shelf next to RQG and Classic RQ. I now plan to use it as a source of house rules for my future RQG games. As a ruleset it's pretty solid. As a volume, it's neither stunning nor ugly. It's pretty OK.

Do I want a new BGB more than I want the upcoming RQ Gloranthan products? No. Do I want it more than I want a new Mythic Iceland and a fully fledged "RQ Vikings" line? Nope.  More than I would cheer a hypothetical return of Stormbringer and other Eternal Champion games? Hell, no!

In sum, if Chaosium's plan remains to publish standalone games, I don't think a new BGB is a top priority (at least for me!). Things change if it is the platform for setting books.  

 

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I like all these ideas but I am particulalry struck by the notion of using the first chapters to provide a basic, frill-free version (perhaps Magic World) and then use later chapters to provide options that can be applied to the basic version. For example perhaps the basic version does not use hit locations but options ould be provided to add that.

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1 hour ago, smiorgan said:

...

More than I would cheer a hypothetical return of Stormbringer and other Eternal Champion games? Hell, no!

...

However, note the licensing issue(s)...  I mean, I don't think you or I know them.

But I expect the issues are non-trivial, given that the French Mourneblade still seems to carry Mongoose markings...?

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